Motorcycle Travel Photographer Author Writer and Adventurer BMW
Michael ONeill Photographer Writer Motorcyclist Adventurer
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Photos From The Road

Motorcycle Travel Photographer Author Writer and Adventurer BMW

"The thoughts that really roll through your mind on the eve of a road trip run a lot deeper than what is packed in your saddlebags. One thinks a lot about the weather. Not every day on the road will be sunny, warm and pleasant. That is a given and inclement weather is just part of the game. Mother Nature can be the source of a motorcyclist’s greatest pleasure. When she is at her finest she can overwhelm you with sensations one never encounters in any other form of travel. Every input is a total sensory experience. A change of one or two degrees in temperature is felt on the surface of your skin. The fragrance of fresh grass clippings or blooming lilac can bring you to rapture. (Conversely the smell of manure or roadkill has the complete opposite effect on one’s olfactory mechanisms)."

-Excerpt from "Road Work: Images and Insights of a Modern Day Explorer"

The excerpt above is from my Amazon #1 best selling road travel book which is available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon as well as on Apple Books. If you love motorcycle travelogues give this one a read. As the author I may be just a little bit biased, but I happen to think it’s a great one.

I chose this book excerpt to introduce this photograph for a very simple reason. This image was created on the evening before I was leaving on an extended motorcycle journey and a number of the thoughts I verbalized above were going through my mind as I made this photograph. In less than 7 hours time I would be leaving for nearly two weeks on the road…on an adventure that would take me through 11 states and cover more than 2,500 miles. I would be visiting old friends, making some new ones and having a rendezvous with family. The trip would take me out of New York through New Jersey and Pennsylvania before arriving at my first stop at a dear friend’s home in Frederick, Maryland. The next day would take me south through the Shenandoah Valley in West Virginia and Virginia. It was here that things got a little dicey. Due, in no small part, to the extremely hot weather conditions I had encountered on the trip, I developed a rather severe and painful rash that caused me to lay low for 24 hours; confined to a motel room in a larger-sized city, parking the bike and using local taxi services to commute to a nearby emergency medical center. Twenty four hours of rest, antibiotic therapy and delivery pizza later I was back on the road.

"Like life itself, it does no good to worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow; nor does it do any good whatsoever to dwell on mistakes you might have made in the past. We can only learn from past mistakes and modify future behavior for the better. The only day that matters is the one before you. Today. I, for one, intend to make the most of that day. It’s not worry that is making me a bit restless this evening. It is the anticipation of the forthcoming adventure that is keeping me from easily falling asleep tonight. This is what I live for. Let’s ride!

-Another Excerpt from "Road Work: Images and Insights of a Modern Day Explorer"

Yes, one does face challenges on the road; some that are expected…some that you may never have experienced before. Like the old saying goes: "What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". In this case it also slowed me down a bit. My journey continued south into Tennessee where I visited with another dear friend and spent a couple of days wandering around the eastern Tennessee foothills of Great Smoky Mountain National Park with my camera. Thereafter I headed east into The Blue Ridge Mountains for a couple of days of stellar riding on amazing roads, and some very nasty wet riding on The Cherohala Skyway. I continued east from there to the Atlantic coast at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; where I spent a couple of days with my girlfriend, her children and grandchildren. Heading back north I rode the entire length of The Outer Banks of North Carolina before turning inland again, doubling back to The Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive…two of the most beautiful motorcycle roads anywhere. A couple of days later this journey ended when I wheeled back into my driveway on Long Island, New York...For those interested in "The Tech": this image of my BMW motorcycle was captured on a Nikon mirrorless camera and a Nikkor zoom lens. A Nikon SB-5000 speed light was fired from an off camera position using the dedicated Nikon remote wireless transceiver system. The RAW image was processed using Adobe Lightroom software and tweaked with a few adjustments in Adobe Photoshop. My "digital darkroom" is contained in my Apple MacBook Pro computer which travels with me on the road…a road well-travelled by this photographer, writer, motorcycle traveler and adventurer.